Financial Accounting and Controls


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Each administrative official has considerable responsibility to ensure appropriate handling, reporting, and safeguarding of the University's assets. The following is a selected list of common control weaknesses that have been found in prior audits on the campus. Being aware of these risks and related controls can help an administrative official to carry out his or her responsibilities for financial management.

RiskGeneral PolicyResponsible Department
Unauthorized bank accounts No bank accounts can be opened without prior approval by the Treasurer's Office Accounts Receivable
Late deposits of funds Cash and checks received for the University must be deposited promptly, usually within 24 hours of receipt Accounts Receivable
Exceeding limits for travel and entertainment expenditures, other miscellaneous reimbursements Expense reimbursements and payments must follow special limits and approvals as outlined in the appropriate UC Berkeley or Office of the President Policy and Procedure Manual Department submitting reimbursement request
Unauthorized payroll or disbursement payments Employees cannot approve payments to themselves. Payroll Department;
Accounts Payable
Unauthorized signatory delegation When an employee signs any document, he/she must sign his or her own name, either in ink or electronically Office of the Controller
Conflicts of interest Employees cannot accept any cash gifts, or non-cash gifts valued in excess of $25 from vendors or other organizations that do business with the University. Conflict of Interest
Inappropriate transfers of expenditures Cost transfers must adhere to the procedures established by the Controller's Office. If Federal funds are involved, such transfers must comply with OMB Circular A-21 Office of the Controller
Charging other campus users for departmental services All recharge units with revenues in excess of $50,000 and their rates must be approved by the Recharge Committee Office of the Controller
Loans to faculty, staff and students All loans must be in accordance with approved University loan programs Accounts Receivable; Financial Aid Office
Unauthorized commitment of University funds No University staff or faculty member may commit University funds without specific delegation of authority from the Purchasing Manager Procurement & Business Contracts
Personal use of University property University resources cannot be used for personal gain. This includes the purchase of products for personal use, or the purchase of products or services from oneself or a relative, or from other department employees or their relatives, unless allowed under a provision of the conflict of interest policy Office of the Controller
Inappropriate payments to foreign nationals. Can result in withdrawal of federal funding or other sanctions Payments to foreign visitors are restricted in many situations by Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) regulations, and visa requirements. Seek assistance before a visitor leaves their home country and arrives at UC Berkeley

Payroll Department;
Accounts Payable

Damage to property, claims against the University Claims for loss or damage to property or other liabilities are submitted to Risk Management as they are incurred

Ethics, Risk, & Compliance Services

Loss or theft of equipment Departments must maintain complete records of equipment. Equipment that is used in individuals' homes or other locations remains the property of the University of California and must be returned when no longer used for University business Equipment Management